Unlike in Malaysia, the Thai auto market has a couple of mass market full electric options available – one can walk into showrooms and drive away a Nissan Leaf or a Hyundai Kona Electric, for example. The selection is set to grow with the expected mid-year arrival of the MG eZS, which was previewed at the 2019 Bangkok International Motor Show.

Unveiled at the Guangzhou show in November last year, the eZS is the battery-powered version of the MG ZS SUV, which has been rather well received in Thailand. It’s clear that the SAIC-owned brand set out to design an inconspicuous EV with the eZS, as it’s remarkably similar in appearance to the regular ZS B-segment SUV, which is powered by a 1.5 litre NA petrol engine in Thailand.

Looking at this China-spec left-hand-drive demo car, the only tell-tale signs that this isn’t a regular ZS are the unique 17-inch rims and subtle badging on the front wings and hatch. The charging port is well-hidden under the front MG emblem, which sits within a Mazda-like grille.

Inside, the electric ZS comes with a Jaguar Land Rover-style rotary gear selector, which is the most obvious interior difference. This being an EV, the instrument panel is also unique. Curiously, the dials are regular analog items despite China’s fascination with everything digital. The physical handbrake has been replaced by an electronic parking brake with auto hold function.

Tech details aren’t final yet, but the eZS comes with a 150 hp electric motor and the car’s homegrown lithium ion battery is claimed to offer 430 km range on the NEDC cycle – it will be a fair bit lower on the newer WLTP scale. MG says that fast charging can top up the battery to 80% in 30 minutes.

The MG eZS is expected to be priced at around 1.5 million baht (RM192,988) when it goes on sale later this year. Such a price would allow it to undercut both the Hyundai Kona Electric (launched at BIMS, from 1.849 million baht) and the second-generation Nissan Leaf (launched late last year at 1.99 million baht).